Readers Respond to the December 2021 Issue

Your feedback on biblical archaeology, life in the ANWR and Clara Barton

Helpful Heroes

As an RN for 39 years, I found “The Caregiver” (December 2021) very interesting. I work in a very busy emergency department caring for Covid patients. For the first time in my career, I know what it is like to be truly weary. Clara Barton probably felt that way often, but plunged ahead to help others. Although we learned about her in college, I learned more about her today. Thanks for sharing the story of this inspirational lady.

—Patti M. | Abingdon, Virginia

Lay of the Land 

The Gwich’in people (“Keeping Faith in Caribou Country,” December 2021) speak from 10,000 years of experience living with the nature of the land, the caribou and the whole environment. They should be heard with serious intent. They haven’t spoiled their land, as our seemingly “cultured” nations have. We need to learn from their patience, intelligence and understanding. Their way of life is difficult by comparison to ours, yet the Gwich’in have answers to preservation of life that deserve our respect and from which we need to learn.

—Irene K. Bierer | Ontario, New York

To be clear, the Gwich’in live outside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)—the Inupiat live inside. The North Slope Inupiat support responsible oil and gas development in the limited area called the Coastal Plain of ANWR. ANWR is not a debate about oil versus caribou. Where we’re from, oil and gas have been developed responsibly for 50 years, right alongside thriving caribou herds, polar bear, abundant waterfowl and a subsistence whaling harvest. The article was right about the beauty and bounty of our home. But does that mean my people should sacrifice rights to manage our lands and lose our desire for an economy so wealthy elite outsiders can take a rafting trip or come to our community for polar bear viewing? The answer is no. The refuge development issue is about real people, and as much as the article highlighted the human angle, it was the wrong humans and the wrong angle. 

—Eddie Rexford | Kaktovik, Alaska

The Quest Continues

Biblical archaeology, always in contention, builds upon slender threads of evidence that are rarely definitive (“Quest for Copper,” December 2021). The copper mines of Timna witnessed revolving cultures from Egypt, Edom and Israel, all of which add pages to a fascinating story. 

—R. T. McAneny | Tempe, Arizona

To our subscribers: Many of you received the November and December issues later than usual. We apologize for this delay, caused by Covid-related supply chain problems and labor shortages at our printing plant. We hope to resume our regular schedule with this issue. 

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